2018 Kitchen Trends

“Trendy design” is not on our calling card.  However, we do carefully watch kitchen and bathroom trends.  These design driving trends tend to stick around for many years and are the areas of most importance to new home buyers.    Below are a few in the kitchen area that we believe have practical and aesthetic merit.

  • Studies indicate that “tidiness” is of utmost importance to homeowners.  They want a place for everything and everything in it’s place.




  • Islands have been around for many years so can’t really call them a trend.  They are becoming larger however.



  • White will continue to be the most popular color but the addition of an accent color is big.  This could be drawers, cabinet doors or an island in a contrasting color or wood finish.




  •  Darker gray to black cabinets are gaining in popularity.  Lighter gray is beginning to wane in popularity.



  • Black and darker stainless steel appliances are on the rise.  White glass is also becoming popular.  Stainless steel is still at the top but other variations/choices are a welcome addition.




  • Engineered quartz has now edged out granite as the counter top material of choice.

Vadara Quartz - Calacatta Blanco

  • Banquette seating is beloved by homeowners, for good reason.

79d7bb6e0dffb101e2fb650e4dbf1e8e.jpgUpholstered dining seat in dining nook, black chairs

  • Black fixtures (plumbing and lighting) are increasingly popular.



  • Flat front cabinetry is on the rise but Shaker style is still the top choice.  Flat front is perfect for modern settings but Shaker wins the hearts of more traditional and transitional clients.

Brass and lucite legs, placed on gray wash wood floors under an oak plank ceiling, accent a white island topped with a gray and white marble countertop facing white concealed fridges placed both under and on either side of white flat front cabinets adorning Lewis Dolan Bar Pulls and Knobs.Цвета фасадов

  • Square tiles for the back splash!




It’s Black & White

One of my design icons, Celerie Kemble, recently published a book titled Black & White (and a bit in between).  I purchased a signed copy when at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart a few months ago.  It is an absolutely beautiful salute to designs in black and white.

I have included a few of the photographs from her book and some of my own favorites below.   Enjoy and remember everything is not black and white (or is it?)!



“If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and white notes together”.–Richard Nixon 







Elle Decor via Black & White –Celerie Kemble

douglas friedman apartment2.jpg

Doug Friedman apartment via http://mackenziehoran.blogspot.com/2010/09/black-white.html



Pillow Talk – Styling your Bed

Making our beds every day – just like mom taught us – is part of a morning routine, and many of us feel happier, more organized and ready to go once we’ve tidied up the sheets and plumped the pillows.

There are so many attractive permutations and combinations when it comes to styling the pillows on a bed.  Some people prefer a very minimal, streamlined look.  Some prefer a more Bohemian, scattered feel.  Others like a little of both.  Below are  general guides from King and Queen beds, but you may have other ideas.  As long as it makes you feel happy, it’s right!


King bed general guide above.  The rule of thumb to “fill” the width of a King bed:  3 Euro shams, 3 Standard Shams or 2 King Shams.

Matouk.com (2).jpg

Queen beds shown above.  The width of a Queen bed requires 2 Euro shams or 2 Standard Shams.

Below are examples of some of the myriad of pillow arranging options.  Most of these are King beds.

www.casa.com  John Robshaw.jpg

John Robshaw

Fabulous John Robshaw bedding!



Surroundings Interiors

Definitely on the Bohemian spectrum.  We love this fun bed!



Sarah Sama

We don’t often see this style but for the minimalist this is a nice look.


Surroundings Interiors

The client wanted a simple, classic, clean look.  Monogrammed King shams backed with 3 Euro Shams.  The real sleeping pillows are tucked behind the Euros.

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Surroundings Interiors

This Queen bed has 2 sleeping pillows hidden by 2 Standard shams and 3 highly  textural throw pillows.  Lucious.



Style Estate

The very feminine example above is a Queen bed with 2 Standard Shams, 2 Euro Shams and 2 square throw pillows.


Terrat Elms

Romantic layering of Euro shams, King shams and throw pillows above.


Mia Rao

Some like a modern, simple arrangement.

How your bed looks once it’s made up depends on your personal style and design preference.  So go minimal, go Bohemian, or go traditional…but definitely go make your bed!

Surroundings is swinging into 2016!

Swinging may be my favorite pastime.  I love the feeling of freedom, the tummy butterflies and the sense of revisiting childhood.

Swings can be seen everywhere lately.  You will see them in living areas, porches and even professional offices.  Take a look at a few examples and imagine yourself no longer tethered to the ground.  Yippee!


8b27d447e31af5c89e1ffa4ff938f971.jpg‘Nautica’ swing by Expormim


RSB by Ro Sham Beaux

Bastille Chair Tibetan Fur by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams


Hanging Hoop Chair, Lee Broom

A Surroundings original creation overlooking the bay on Anna Maria Island.

Work play!  Swing Table by Duffy London via Dezeen


Airstream Dreams

One of the recent summer catalogues for Bed Bath & Beyond caught our attention recently.  It’s cover features fun accessories for the backyard, though it’s a luminous Airstream trailer in the background that caught our eye!

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.55.30 AM

Airstream trailers are an American classic that are at once nostalgic and futuristic.  The shiny exterior, shaped like a bullet, looks ready to fly down the open highway on an adventure.  It inspires fantasies of a simple, spontaneous life.

The images of Airstream evoke fun and freedom.   They really are iconic.   Wally Byam, the founder and original Airstream designer, is a modern American inspiration himself.  He attended Stanford University, working at times for various newspapers, where he met lifetime friend Cornelius “Neil” Vanderbilt, Jr. (who invested in and travel-tested Byam’s early creations).  He started selling his campers from ads in the back of magazines and managed to build his backyard business into a successful American company.

Image via glamperanairstreamdiary.com.

Image via glamperanairstreamdiary.com.


The first factory produced Airstream, fittingly named “The Torpedo.” Image via Airstream.com.

Over the years,  Byam’s Airstream became not only a symbol of the open road, but also an embodiment of how beauty and modern functionality go hand in hand.  NASA commissioned Airstream to build the “Astrovan” to quarantine Neil Armstrong’s crew after returning from the first flight on the moon (in case they carried ‘moon germs’).


Wally Byam’s Airstream creed was to put the “great wide world at your doorstep.”


Matthew McConaughey’s Airstream parked in Malibu, CA. Image via AD.

Check out the ocean in the background!  Via Jelanie.

Check out the ocean in the background! Via Jelanie.

Via Remodelista

Via Remodelista

Image via Pinterest.

Image via Pinterest.


Image via Pinterest.

And though most of us may never own an Airstream, it’s fun to dream!  The same design spirit and Airstream inspiration can be found in interiors, especially in furniture design.

This retro redwood and aluminum folding chair reminds us of the chairs we sat in many afternoons under our grandfather’s grapefruit trees.  The aluminum makes it light, impervious to the elements and easy to transport. The wood gives it a natural, organic feel.  You can find these on Etsy and eBay.


For a similar, sleeker look, check out the Emeco Navy Armchair 1006 (called 10-oh-6) with wood seat available at DWR.  This chair was designed as a lightweight, easy to use chair aboard ships for the U.S. Navy.  It has a sturdy traditional look, but the aluminum gives it a light, airy modern appeal.


Airstream also toyed around with producing colored versions of their popular travel van, specifically in pastels, to match the interior design color trend of the 1950s.  Wally Byam decided to stick to the classic aluminum, but the idea of a little pop of aluminum color is so much fun.  Would love to see pastel Airstream trailers going down the highway!

Instead, we can appreciate these colorful aluminum stools.


This cocktail table, from CB2, combines a rustic wood top with an aluminum base.

Image via CB2.

Image via CB2.

We found this collapsable, army grade aluminum and canvas cot, from Kaufmann Mercantile.  The shiny base gives a bit of glamour and shine to the functional canvas.


Restoration Hardware’s Blackhawk Collection below.  Looks like we could put wheels on it and drive it to the next campground.



Interestingly, this Restoration Hardware line is part of the Aviator Collection — Wally Byam worked for an airplane manufacturing company!

And finally, we’re writing this blog from computers made mostly from recycled aluminum.

Image via pcmag.com

Image via pcmag.com

For those of you in the Tampa Bay area, next time you’re driving down the I-4 corridor, catch a glimpse of Airstream Ranch.

Photo by Skip O'Rourke via Tampa Bay Times.

Photo by Skip O’Rourke via Tampa Bay Times.

We have such an obsession with Airstream trailers.  Thanks for letting us share.  We have a Pinterest page devoted to the iconic travel trailer.  Take a look!

Do you have rhythm?

Rhythm is all around us.  We hear it but we also see it, sometimes without realizing it.  It’s an inherent part of nature.  In the world of interior design it is one of the guiding principles.  It creates interest, focus and leads your eye through a room.  It can be subtle or make a bold statement.

It is attained though repetition of any of the design elements: line, color, light, texture, pattern, scale or proportion.  Alternating two or more elements in a regular pattern is another method.  Progression is also a way to create rhythm (for example moving from light to dark ombre).

Below is a sampling of some great rooms, and a few of the ways we incorporate design elements to create rhythm.

Rhythm comes into play in various ways in this room including the color blue, the wallpaper pattern and the crown moulding detail.


Interior Design by Tom Scheerer, House Beautiful, 2013 via QuadrilleFabrics.com

The grand beds, with their graceful curves and black and white linens make for a beautiful and restive retreat.  Notice the rhythm created by using the same dark wood of the beds for the artwork and mirror framing.  The same color tone and straight lines can be seen decorating the shams.  The vertical lines of the canopies are repeated in the wood detailing of the ceiling.


Via myhomeideas.com

In the picture below, we love how the floor pattern creates rhythm through repetition and leads your eye across the room as you enter.  There is also the repeat of the great turquoise tables and brass mirrors (balance is here too – revisit our 1st Design Principles blog, Balancing Act).  The detailed crown moulding is another example of rhythm at work.


Via desiretoinspire.net

Again, a floor pattern that draws the eye around the room, is mirrored by the patterned ceiling in this gorgeous room by Kelly Werstler.  The colors, black, brass, and gray, are repeated throughout (the black table, grey sculpture and small gold accessory in the forefront even maintain the beat here).


At Asiate, a restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City, you can imagine having a quiet, elegant dinner among the seemingly endless rows of booths and tables.  There is repetition in the architecture, the wallpaper in each booth, and the accents (the pillows, the simple red flowers and silver vase), and the multiple system of lights installed to create an airy sculpture.


Creating a somewhat predictable (yet interesting), easy to follow rhythm in commercial spaces is important in influencing the emotional state of customers and clients.  Calm, comfortable patrons (as well as employees) are the happiest!

new you

A New You, by Surroundings Interiors

HW reception

Hunter Warfield by Surroundings Interiors

In your own home or commercial space you can create rhythm through lighting installations, artwork, tile and fabric patterns.

Ruiz lighting

Surroundings Interiors

Duncan Am Stairs

Surroundings Interiors


We used this Ikat for a client. Ikats are bold and can be found in various colors, patterns and textures.


Rhythm can be subtle and natural.

Dot art SKB

Sometimes, with Rhythm, more is more.

Spelling rhythm may be the biggest challenge…soooo many consonants!  Thank goodness for spell check.  Send us pictures to add to our rhythm collection.

Seeing Red

Central Florida is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World — and the close of the annual Florida Strawberry Festival, which took place earlier this month in Plant City, Fl, has us thinking of the most beautiful and scrumptious of fruits.  Besides it’s sweet, sugary taste, the strawberry adds color and energy to any plate.


It’s that attractive red color, and how it’s a dashing and bold design choice, that we’ll be dishing about today.

Red is an emotionally intense color.  Red stimulates the metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure (in a good way!).  Red indicates courage, strength, power, passion, love and danger.  The color red is often used (in some variation) in dining rooms because of its appetite stimulating effect.

And guess what?  Pantone’s 2015 color of the year is Marsala – an earthy, sophisticated shade of red.

Pantone Color of the Year,

Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, pantone.com

Many designers insist that each room should have at least a touch of red.

Below are some beautiful examples of a range of reds in various settings that we think are bold, bright, and daring.

What’s black and white and ‘red’ all over?


Check out the stairs below, from Architectural Digest — I love how the color is worked into the room in an original and inspiring way.  Red is not just for walls!


Another bold red door, below, and the black, white and red color scheme is so sharp.


Image via HouseBeautiful.

Bold & Beautiful

Often, a bathroom or powder room is the place to go bold.  Wake up to red and forego the morning joe…


Source Lonny Magazine, lonny.com


Images via HouseBeautiful.

The Softer Side of Red

In the first photo below, by House Beautiful, you can see how red can be happy and cheerful, and also work with a softer color pallette.


Image via HouseBeautiful.


A softer red, from fengshuidana.com.

It works with powder blue too – very pretty!

Image via The Tao of Dana.

Here is a great example, from the photographer Marc Wouters, of how red pops with black and can create a dramatic, moody setting!


Image via Marc Wouters.

Art work provides a single touch of red, in Aerin Lauder’s office, below, yet against the black creates a dramatic mood.


Source stylebeat.com

Red is vibrant, whether you go bold or soft, and sometimes all you need is a touch of red…

This dramatic, red range and hood provide all the color against a neutral backdrop.


Image via HouseBeautiful.

And, from  Bunny Williams,this room appeared in House Beautiful in 2009 — just one red egg chair and spot the red binding on the book underneath the side table.


In the pictures below, you can see how a touch of red adds that extra drama and ‘oomph’ to almost any room.

Images via HouseBeautiful.


Images via Architectural Digest.


Just a ‘light’ red – a little goes a long way in this room.


A neutral, calm pallet is energized by the red, blown glass chandelier.

Images via Architectural Digest.

The last few pictures show how reds mix with almost every color.  So, can you incorporate red in your home? Add a pot of geraniums, or a bright throw pillow, a red vase, or a bold lamp…and remember there are many shades of red.

Welcome to Our Blog

Here at Surroundings Interiors, we are very excited, because this is our first blog ever.  Social media is not new to us – we are hooked on Houzz, pinned to Pinterest, and constantly checked in on Twitter and Instagram.

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Blogging – however – is new to us!  Based in Tampa, FL , we find inspiration everywhere…we see great design ideas during our travels, while watching a film, flipping through magazines, while shopping, or just out on the water enjoying the scenery.

Colorful kayaks in Rockport, Mass.

Colorful kayaks in Rockport, Mass.

Great painted, concrete path at Sunken Gardens, St. Pete, FL

Great painted, concrete path at Sunken Gardens, St. Pete, FL

We want to share our thoughts and ideas with you — so, this blog will be an open dialogue about all things interior (and sometimes exterior) design related!


Anna Maria Condo Remodel by Surroundings Interiors.

Mexican Hacienda style home by Surroundings Interiors.

Mexican Hacienda style home by Surroundings Interiors.

We also get a lot of questions from friends and family.  What color should I paint my walls?  Which fabric would you use?  How can I get more space out of my kitchen?  Do you think I can knock down this wall?


A client sends pictures of fabric samples!

We hope to tackle some of these questions and delve into the art of interior design as we share our current projects and design process.

Thanks for joining us and let us hear from you!

Sharon Laird, Surroundings Interiors